Design Courses in Michigan with School Overviews

The Michigan area has roughly 60 schools that offer design programs. Get some information about the degree programs and some quick facts for 10 of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Design programs are widely available at colleges and universities throughout Michigan at the certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree and master's degree levels. Design students often get opportunities to take part in study abroad opportunities, display their artwork at exhibitions, create portfolios, create art in studio courses and do research projects. Design programs are available in several fields, including:

  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Fashion design
  • Landscape design
  • Computer-aided design
  • Interior design
  • Environmental design
  • Industrial design
  • Entertainment design

Central Michigan University

Located in Mount Pleasant, this school offers several Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) programs in interior design and fashion merchandising and design. The difference between the bachelor's program types is in the general education and/or minor requirements. There's also a bachelor's program in graphic design. This school offers study abroad and internship opportunities to students in all design programs.

Eastern Michigan University

This Ypsilanti school offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program with a 21-credit concentration in graphic design. Students can also earn a BS degree with a concentration in furniture design or graphic design. In addition, students can enroll in a Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited BS in Interior Design program or a BS in Product Design and Development. BA and BS programs are also available in entertainment design and technology.

This school also offers an MA in Studio Art program with a concentration in graphic design. Another option is for graduate students to pursue an MS in Interior Design. The 30-credit program is only open to students with a bachelor's degree in interior design, although exceptions are sometimes made by the director.

Ferris State University

At the Grand Rapids campus of this school, students can study design at the Kendall College of Art and Design. Undergraduate degree options include a BFA in Metals/Jewelry Design, Furniture Design, Collaborative Design, Graphic Design (available as a BS, too), Industrial Design or Interior Design. Students in all BFA programs take introductory studio courses, art history courses and major studio courses. The interior design program is accredited by CIDA.

Grand Rapids Community College

This Grand Rapids-based school offers an Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Architectural Design and a Certificate or Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Mechanical Design. The architectural design program is offered through a partnership with Lawrence Tech University. Students complete two years of study and earn an associate's degree at Grand Rapids Community College, then transfer to a four-year program at Lawrence Tech. Mechanical design students study graphics, mechanical concepts, tool design and die design.

Grand Valley State University

Located in Allendale, this school offers a BA, BS and BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in graphic design. Foundation courses cover 2-D and 3-D design, color and design, creative problem-solving skills and drawing. Students also complete at least 36 credits within the graphic design emphasis area. A portfolio, capstone and senior exhibition are also required. Facilities at this school include multiple computer labs and a digital print shop.

Henry Ford Community College

At this school, located in Dearborn, students can earn an associate's degree in graphic design or interior design or a certificate in kitchen and bath design, graphic design or interior design. Students complete 60 credits to earn the AA degree, while the certificate programs require 33-39 credits. In addition, the school is home to an art gallery that holds two student exhibitions every year.

Lansing Community College

This Lansing school offers a Certificate of Achievement program in graphic design. It's meant for students who already hold an undergraduate or graduate degree in the visual arts. Courses cover type communications, vector drawing, computer graphics, digital imaging, design markets, publications and branding. Students complete 33 credits and compile a graphic design portfolio.

Michigan State University

Located in East Lansing, this school offers an undergraduate specialization in design through its College of Communication Arts and Sciences. This 14 to 17-credit specialization can be added to any bachelor's degree program. Students can also pursue a BA in Interior Design or an MA in Environmental Design. Students in the interior design program study textile materials, interior design drafting, professional practices and lighting. Students in the master's program design an individualized focus area; past choices have included golf course architecture, landscape reclamation, plant management systems and design with ecological systems. They also write a thesis or complete a research project.

Oakland Community College

This Bloomfield Hills school offers a variety of design certificate and associate's programs. Students can earn a certificate in computer information systems with a Web designer option. Two-year degree program options include an AAS in Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Technology with a CAD product design or computer-aided vehicle design option, an AAS in Graphic Design, and an AAS in Interior Design.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

Western Michigan University

Located in Kalamazoo, this school offers a BS in Fashion Design and Development and a BS in Interior Design through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The fashion design program includes courses in apparel construction, pattern making and computer design and requires study in New York City or London, England. Interior design students study form and space, design history, interiors and lighting. Students interested in the graphic design program study color theory, typography and visual systems.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Design Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Central Michigan University 4-year, public; distant town BA in Fashion Merchandising and Design
BAA in Fashion Merchandising and Design
BS in Fashion Merchandising and Design
BA in Interior Design
BAA in Interior Design
BS in Interior Design
BFA in Graphic Design
$11,850 (in-state), $23,670 (out-of-state)*
Eastern Michigan University 4-year, public; large suburb BS in Art with a concentration in furniture design
BS in Art with a concentration in graphic design
BFA with a concentration in graphic design
BFA with a concentration in furniture design
BS in Interior Design
BS in Product Design and Development
BA in Entertainment Design and Technology
BS in Entertainment Design and Technology
MA in Studio Art with a concentration in graphic design
MS in Interior Design
$10,417 (in-state), $27,712 (out-of-state)*
Ferris State University 4-year, public; distant town BFA in Collaborative Design
BFA in Furniture Design
BFA in Graphic Design
BA in Graphic Design
BFA in Industrial Design
BFA in Interior Design
BFA in Metals & Jewelry Design
$10,970 (in-state), $17,562 (out-of-state)*
Grand Rapids Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Mechanical Design Certificate
Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Architectural Design
Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Mechanical Design
$3,051 (in-district), $6,027 (in-state), $8,715 (out-of-state)*
Grand Valley State University 4-year, public; large suburb BA in Studio Arts with a concentration in graphic design,
BS in Studio Arts with a concentration in graphic design,
BFA in Studio Arts with a concentration in graphic design
$11,363 (in-state), $16,044 (out-of-state)*
Henry Ford Community College 2-year, public; small city Certificate of Achievement in Kitchen and Bath Design
Certificate of Achievement in Graphic Design,
AA in Graphic Design
AA in Interior Design
$2,798 (in-district), $4,382 (in-state), $5,990 (out-of-state)*
Lansing Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Certificate of Achievement in Graphic Design $3,020 (in-district), $5,660 (in-state), $8,300 (out-of-state)*
Michigan State University 4-year, public; small city Undergraduate specialization in design
BA in Interior Design
MA in Environmental Design
$13,560 (in-state), $36,360 (out-of-state)*
Oakland Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Computer Information Systems Certificate with a Web designer option
AAS in Computer Aided Design and Drafting Technology with a CAD product design option
AAS in Computer Aided Design and Drafting Technology with a computer-aided vehicle design option
AAS in Graphic Design
AAS in Interior Design
$2,745 (in-district), $5,235 (in-state), $7,305 (out-of-state)*
Western Michigan University 4-year, public; small city BS in Fashion Design and Development
BS in Interior Design
BFA in Graphic Design
$11,029 (in-state), $25,713 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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